The Faces of the Black Box Warning- Humira

August 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm 8 comments

The Flawed Hand of the Healer by Chris Ritchey

The flawed Hand of the Healer by Chris Ritchey

Part One – The Faces of Humira

Every day searches come to this blog on the drug Humira , cancer in all its obscenity and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma . They are people looking for answers, hope and direction but most of all answers…….
In part three of the series The Good???? Dr.

The “Good???” Dr. – Drugs- Trust – Selling of hope- Part 3

I touched upon the drug Humira and the story of Maxx Wendell – the obscenity of a drug that caused his young life to end and his mother’s torment to begin. Last week, a comment came to this blog requesting information about Humira. I contacted Maxx’s mother, Lisa , for her input and the question and her thoughts will be in Part Two. In the meantime, let us once again look at Humira . In the post “Selling of Hope” ( above ) I stated:

I have watched the commercial, as probably you have ( the commerce drug of the moment- this drug in the billions of dollars – bigger than some country’s budgets ) HUMIRA for many months and any of number of times a night. I have noted the voice over of the side effects- can cause . Lymphoma/ Cancer Tuberculosis ( this is a CURE!!!!!”) and HOW MANY SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS HAPPENED? I walked the path of the Curable Lymphoma – Hodgkin’s
Why would anyone take this drug
? from their own website

What is a Black Box Warning :
black box

Emphasis mine:

“Important Safety Information About HUMIRA® (adalimumab)1

White Coat of Death by  Chris Ritchey

White Coat of Death by Chris Ritchey

What is the most important information I should know about HUMIRA?

You should discuss the potential benefits and risks of HUMIRA with your doctor. HUMIRA is a TNF blocker medicine that can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. You should not start taking HUMIRA if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor says it is okay.
Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before starting HUMIRA, and check you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with HUMIRA. If your doctor feels you are at risk, you may be treated with medicine for TB.

Cancer. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, the chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. There have been cases of unusual cancers in children, teenagers, and young adults using TNF blockers. Some people have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of cancer often results in death. If using TNF blockers including HUMIRA, your chance of getting two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) may increase. These types are generally not life-threatening if treated; tell your doctor if you have a bump or open sore that doesn’t heal.”

Let us look at the language in this Black Box Warning for the drug Humira that is played over and over and over again on our electronic media. The soft-spoken voice over for the commercial showing the young woman playing with her son , the guy living his life

man humira

as music plays and laughter abounds under the voice over quietly downplaying stating in a matter of fact way :

serious infections , bacteria and cancer has happened and it has resulted in death and other cancer types have happened but they are “GENERALLY” aren’t life threatening if treated

Question Humira( Abbott Laboratories ) Who pays for the non life threatening cancer to be treated? Abbott Laboratories ?

Maxx Wendell ALSO a face of Humira

Maxx Wendell ALSO a face of Humira

And while we are at it- Why don’t you show the faces of those “some people” their light, laughter and life denied to them and their families along side the happy families…. I don’t think that would make good ad copy would it.

prescrition pad

And why are we showing these drug ads to the general population-

Could it be you want the general population to play Dr.? Is this just another avenue to get to the physicians prescription pad?

Because in Humira’s disclaimers they state again and again “ask your doctor” – your doctor should- tell your doctor.

So why are you not just advertising to “doctors “? We know that you and every other pharmaceutical group canvass and sell their pills and potions to “the doctor”.


But this is the biggest of businesses and Abbott Laboratories say it themselves as to why they have such an aggressive ad campaign- Emphasis mine!

First, ‘STRONG PATIENT DEMAND’ has lead to global market share gains in both dermatology and gastroenterology.”

Ah! there you have it – it isn’t the doctors driving Humira’s success it is the “patients demands”
From Abbotts report October 2012

Abbott Laboratories Management Discusses Q3 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Certainly, HUMIRA remains the cornerstone of our portfolio and is a strong driver for AbbVie, and will remain so. Not many brands are able to achieve and sustain the level of performance we’ve demonstrated with HUMIRA.

Clearly, HUMIRA has a strong clinical profile. Our commercial, our development and our regulatory execution on HUMIRA have been outstanding. HUMIRA’s performance continues to be exceptional, as evidenced by the strong double-digit growth this year.

Several factors are driving that performance. First, strong patient demand has lead to global market share gains in both dermatology and gastroenterology. Second, the addition of 2 new indications for patients; UC here in the U.S. and Europe, as well as axial SpA in Europe. HUMIRA now treats a total of 8 approved indications and 4 more in late-stage development.bbw abbot

Finally, the global biologic market growth remains strong, and HUMIRA continues to outpace that growth. We expect HUMIRA demand to continue to grow, given the relative modest biologic penetration rates across all market segments, but in particular, the dermatology segment, where biological penetration rates are still mid single digits.


Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Blogging, Chris Ritchey, commentary, Corporate responsibility, death, Doctors/Physicians, hell is other people, medical, personal opinion. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

August 3rd- the enviroment changed-Chris Ritchey Black Box Warnings- Take Heed- Humira etc

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gramster1  |  August 8, 2013 at 12:49 am

    I have seen so many “ads” for meds to “cure” some disease BUT the possible side effects are so far out there I have to wonder why in the world anyone would take that chance!?! Even a discussion with a doctor would leave me very fearful of taking such a medication.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

    you know my husband had a reaction to blood pressure medication it took all I had to get even the specialist to understand it was the medication I was so sure…… I had to go through the “back door” to get the real side effects – not the side effects printed when you get your prescription- and 1% of the population had the same effects that my husband was experiencing ….- they took him off the medication and he was fine – but he needed blood pressure medication so he is still on blood pressure medication but he has to take it a night so he sleeps through the effects- walking into walls etc…… apparently the side effects only effect 1% percent of the population taking blood pressure medication however since 1 in 3 adults are on BP medication in the United States that effects 100,000 people hmmmmmmm

  • 3. Paula  |  August 11, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Why would anyone take that chance?
    Ever read the side effects for chemo?
    Why would you take anything?
    You trust the FDA has done their due diligence, you’re desperate to live, you’re afraid, the list is long why you’d try anything.

    I found it interesting watching the ads on TV for all the meds. It’s called push/pull. Push it on the consumer, pull them into their doctors asking for it. Notice when they’re saying the fine print they have happy people having fun, living their lives and you don’t hear the warning, because that’s what you want.

    Follow the money.

    A teenage boy developed a litmus test for pancreatic cancer, costs pennies. But the government has to test and retest.
    I would try it because I can’t see how it could possibly hurt me, if it’s wrong I would find tests to follow up (CT scan) at least it’s a beginning.
    Only in America, spend millions for a 2 cent test.

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 11, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Exactly right Paula – the chemo -I hated watching my son hooked up to that poison but true you will do anything take the poisons in to save your life- although in the end it was the cure that killed him not the cancer although eventually that too would have returned to eat away at him. Acute Pulmonary Toxicity

    However Humira etc are being touted for non life threatening conditions such as Psoriasis, arthritis and Chrones disease and a
    chance of remission against a chance of cancer……. it is sick what these advertisements are doing. Push Pull I love that term and so apt

    and again follow the money…………

  • 7. Mia  |  May 27, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    A different perspective….
    I developed rheumatoid arthritis and felt excruciating pain in all of my joints. There were days where I couldn’t open water bottles, eat with utensils, or throw my trash out. I couldn’t sit or lay in bed comfortably because my joints hurt so bad that no position was comfortable, which also affected my sleep. I was miserable. My doctor started treating me with Methotrexate (a low dose of a medication used for chemotherapy) but it was not doing the job. Also, the daily side effects of that were terrible. When she put me on Humira, I was very worried because I had listened to the warnings and read up on it, and was very freaked out. But I was in so much pain that I was willing to give it a shot.
    It has helped me immensely, and my quality of life is much better than it was before I started taking it. I am very aware of the side effects, and that somewhere down the road I may experience some of them. But in the meantime I am living almost pain free and can function like a normal individual. For me, it is worth it.

  • 8. Doris Troy  |  January 5, 2018 at 4:59 am

    I’ve been advised to look into Humira for my Hidradenitis suppurativa but I’m not sure I can’t just change my diet now and am afraid that this may not be a drug for my condition as my derm. would tell me.

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August 2013

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